Actually, I like the term pro-Voice best.
I’m for reproductive justice and sexual autonomy. Everyone should be in control of if, when, where, how, and with whom they bring new life into the world.
I’ve been an abortion doula as well as supported folks through unintended pregnancy loss and birthing for adoption. It’s a mad powerful thing to do, and hasn’t changed my opinion on abortion at all… except provided new insight into the limitless reasons someone might need it!
Me: "That program doesn’t carry any sort of accreditation."
Them: "Well, that’s your opinion."
Studies show that a stressful delivery (especially cesarean sections or a very long labor) can delay the onset of lactation, meaning it may take longer for you to start producing breast milk. Studies also show that having a midwife or doula can help reduce stress during and after delivery, so if breast feeding is important to you it may be a good idea to invest in a birthing assistant of some kind.
Other risk factors for delayed onset of lactation include
the second phase of labor (active labor where the contractions are close together and intense but you are not yet pushing) being over an hour long
your weight before pregnancy being over a BMI of 27 kg
it being your first baby
Things that can cause problems later on in nursing include:
flat or inverted nipples (there are nipple guards you can use to help make breastfeeding easier)
birthweight being less than 3601 gms
non breastmilk fluids being given in the first 48 hours of life
not emptying the breast completely during or after feeding
PSA: If you are experiencing a delay in Lactogenesis II (onset of mature milk production, described above), call a lactation consultant. And by lactation consultant, I mean an IBCLC. Not a “certified lactation specialist,” “certified lactation counselor,” “certified lactation educator”…. these are usually add-on credentials for birth workers and educators. They’re wonderfully helpful to give anecdotal advice, troubleshoot minor challenges, etc, but they are not clinicians. Delay in Lactogenesis II is a clinical issue that requires a clinical assessment. Don’t further delay comprehensive care by calling an under-qualified professional.
"Do you offer refunds if I go into labor before the class ends?"
"No? Okay I’m just going to sign up for the condensed series at my hospital."
Ohhhh the DONA Nobis…. LOL!
I enjoyed my DONA training. I trained directly with Penny Simkin, which was ah-maz-ing. I certified with them in 2011, and since then have found certification to be fairly useless for me, personally. My main job is as an IBCLC, which is a clinical credential that *definitely* needs to be kept up with. I take on 6-8 births per year, two of which are usually lower cost. So my income as a doula isn’t worth the outlandish fees DONA requires of their doulas for membership, recertification, CEUs, etc.
I also have problems with DONA on an ideological level. There’s the whole “If you’re there as the doula, you can only do doula-esque things.” I believe families hire people, not walking scopes of practice. When families hire me, they hire me and all the training and experience that comes with me. I’m not about to “scale back” my postpartum breastfeeding support to that of a doula; that would make me a bad lactation consultant and a bad doula.
DONA is also just really inaccessible, non-inclusive, and just not really worth my paycheck.